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Coach's Corner

Coach's Corner

    Coach's Corner

Do you need some assistance with your life or your career?  Or maybe just the gentle nudge to motivate you.  This is place for you.  Make sure you are ready to be called into the next play.   ATD Lincoln's coaches, consultants, and guidance counselors will get you moving in the right direction.

 

  • Mon, August 04, 2014 7:58 AM | Deleted user

    The topic of “ethics” has been on my mind lately as I have been facilitating workshops on “Ethical Issues in Therapy” for Licensed Mental Health Practitioners (counselors, social workers, psychologists, etc.) and I have 2 more coming up in 2 weeks.  The attendees have had great questions and insights on the subject, but people in the mental health profession are not the only ones who must face ethical questions.  Every one of us must face ethical issues or dilemmas in our personal and professional lives.

    According to WolframAlpha (on my iPhone), the definition of ethics is:  1. Motivation based on ideas of right and wrong or 2. the philosophical study of moral values and rules.  As we move through each and every day, we must evaluate our decisions based on our moral values or ideas of what is right and what is wrong.  It appears as if this should be easy, a no-brainer, but decisions are not always black or white.  A simple example happens to every driver nearly every day.  What do you do when you arrive at an intersection as the light is changing to yellow or red?  Do you step on it to get through it or do you stomp on the brakes to stop as quickly as you can?  I see drivers that are side by side making different choices.  Is one right and one wrong?  What is the reasoning behind their choices?  It’s not always a clear cut decision, even when you are behind the wheel.

    Another issue that has arisen frequently and in recent years is the use of cell phones while driving.  Do you talk or text while you drive?  Why or why not?  Your decision may not be based purely on your values, but on the laws where you live.  Do you consider the danger to others and yourself or do you hate to miss a phone call and opt to answer?  Is it clear in your mind?  Do you make the same decision every time due to your convictions?  Or do you make exceptions to your own rules?

    What are your ethical issues at work?  Do you and your colleagues discuss these issues?  Are you aware of illegal or immoral activity in your workplace?  What would you do if there was something illegal or immoral occurring?  If you became aware, is there someone you could go to in order to resolve the issue?  Or would you just keep quiet due to fear of losing your job?  How would you feel if you didn’t confront it or report it?  Do you have a moral obligation to report it?  Have you ever left a job for ethical reasons?  I have and I didn’t regret it.  I couldn’t work in a toxic environment that allowed unethical activities.  I learned that no job was worth compromising my moral values and ethics.

    Sometimes the issues are small, such as people stealing office supplies, which many people overlook or ignore.  Sometimes the issues are big, such as embezzling or improper billing practices.  Do you see them as the same ethically?  Do you treat them the same?  What would you do?

    It is up to each one of us to examine our conscience and make ethical decisions that feel right.  I remember someone a long time ago saying that when they made decisions, they imagined their mother standing by watching them.  If they were about to do something they wouldn’t want their mother to see, they knew it wasn’t morally right.  If they knew their mother would be proud of their decision, they knew it was the right thing to do.  (Keep in mind that although this test may work for most of us, it certainly wouldn’t apply to all of us.)  What is your litmus test?

    I pose these questions for you to consider as you enter each day and realize the number of decisions you make based on your moral compass.  If there are things occurring in your workplace that cause you to feel uncomfortable, consider why you feel this way and what somebody that you see as having high ethical values would do.  It is up to each of us to make our workplaces, as well as our homes, ethical and positive environments so we may make a positive impact on the world.

    Kolleen Meyer-Krikac, owner of Balanced Life and Wilshire Business Suites, located in Lincoln, NE is a certified life coach and professional counselor in private practice.  She facilitates workshops, is a public speaker and enjoys helping people to “Dream, Plan, Achieve” the life they have always wanted.  You can reach Kolleen through her website, Balanced Life (www.balanced-life.us), Linked In, Facebook or by calling her at (402)499-5547.


  • Mon, June 30, 2014 10:53 PM | Deleted user

    Last month, we cleared out clutter in our environment.  This month we are going to address some of the psychological and emotional benefits to clearing out clutter.  As you read the article in the attached link at the bottom of this article, I hope you will gain some ideas that you can put into practice right away and that will offer you peace. 

    One area that hasn’t been addressed in this article or by last month’s blog is the electronic clutter we accumulate.  In this day of technological gadgets, it is easy to forget the toll they take on our minds and emotional energy.  We are bombarded by email, text messages, Facebook notices, social networks, etc.  Our lives are constantly interrupted by notifications on phones, tablets and computers.  All of these interruptions interfere with our productivity and our relaxation.  This is all electronic clutter which has to be dealt with and takes us away from what we really want to be doing.  When do we get a break in this age of electronics where we are expected to be available 24 hours a day?  The truth is, we don’t get one unless we take one!  Schedule time to respond to your emails and texts, but don’t let it consume hours of your life every day.  Then schedule time to be disconnected so you can plug into the present moment!  All electronics have an “off” button, but we forget we can use it.  I was reminded of this while we were on vacation to the Grand Canyon last week and how refreshing it was to not be able to get any cell phone signal!  I apologize to any of you who tried to reach me and didn’t get a response, but it was nice to get a real break to focus on myself, my family and the beautiful scenery.  Try it and see how refreshed you feel after unplugging for a day, an evening, a morning or a weekend.

    This article was published in the Journal Star which obtained it from the Dallas News.  Here is the link:    http://www.dallasnews.com/lifestyles/health-and-fitness/health/20140512-getting-rid-of-the-clutter-helps-increase-inner-peace.ece

    Kolleen Meyer-Krikac, owner of Balanced Life and Wilshire Business Suites, located in Lincoln, NE is a certified life coach and professional counselor in private practice.  She facilitates workshops, is a public speaker and enjoys helping people to “Dream, Plan, Achieve” the life they have always wanted.  You can reach Kolleen through her website, Balanced Life (www.balanced-life.us), Linked In, Facebook or by calling her at (402)499-5547.

  • Mon, June 02, 2014 3:25 PM | Deleted user

    Spring is nearly over, but it is never too late for some spring cleaning!  Have you ever noticed how much better you feel and how much more energy you have when you clean up some clutter, such as cleaning off your desk or filing a stack of paperwork?  We all know we feel much better in a clean environment, but did you realize there is research to support what we already know?  Clutter drains our energy making us less productive and more stressed.  Clutter can cause depression, anxiety, tiredness, lethargy, and shame.  There is also research to show a correlation between weight gain and clutter.  Clutter affects the way we feel about ourselves and the way others see us.  Clutter can cause confusion which keeps you from being able to focus on the things that are most important to you.  Clutter drains you of valuable time because you spend so much time looking for misplaced items such as keys, a piece of mail, shoes, etc.  Clutter also costs you money as bills get misplaced, late fees accrue, and you buy items to replace the items you can’t find.  Clutter interferes with our relationships as we may be embarrassed to have others see our mess or they may choose not to be around because they are uncomfortable in the messy environment.  Clutter can affect our self-esteem, especially when we feel overwhelmed and frustrated that we just “can’t seem to get a handle on it” and manage it more effectively.

    So why do we let the clutter build up?  In the winter, we tend to “nest” by surrounding ourselves with comforting items like winter clothing, but in the spring those same items zap our energy.  This is why so many people do “spring cleaning” – to regain their energy by reducing the clutter.

    Another reason people let the clutter build up is they get out of the habit of putting things in a home when they are done using them.  It doesn’t take long for a stack of mail or a pile of clothes to build up if they aren’t dealt with regularly.  Sometimes this problem begins because people haven’t taken the time to assign their possessions a “home” so they have no place to put them out of sight.  They land on flat surfaces such as tables, chairs, countertops, desktops, etc.  Seeing all of this clutter when you enter a room causes you to feel stressed, fatigued, drained and overwhelmed to the point that you don’t know where to begin.  So you don’t.  And the clutter continues to build.   This feeds the cycle of procrastination, depression and stress until people get to the extreme point of physical illness or relationship problems that cause them to face the clutter head-on.

    So where is a good place to begin?  There is no right answer to this question because each of us has our own way to tackle it.  I recommend starting small.  Choose a spot that you declare “clutter-free” and create that space to give you energy when you are feeling overwhelmed.  It could be a space like a bathroom, or even the cupboard under the sink, or smaller yet, would be a drawer in the bathroom.  When you have success on a small level, you gain momentum and have more energy to tackle the next space.

    When you have selected your small “clutter-free” zone, start looking at the stuff in that space and sort it into 3 piles (keep, donate, throw away) asking yourself these questions:  1. Do I love it or use it?  If you don’t love it or use it, you move to the next question – 2. Can someone else use it or enjoy it?  If the answer is no, move to the 3rd question – what has no use any more and needs to be thrown away?  When you can narrow down your “keep” pile, you feel free as you gain more space back in your life.  Continue to sort each area using the same 3 categories – keep, donate or throw away and before you know it, you will feel lighter, less stressed and more energetic!  This process raises your oxytocin level – the feel good chemical which makes this process good for your health as well as making it easier to find things, giving you more time back and reducing your stress.

    Start small, continue moving through one area and one room at a time, sorting into the 3 categories.  Assign everything that you keep to a home and spend 15 minutes a day to put things back in their homes if they have strayed.  Make sure these homes are logical and easy to maintain (such as keeping keys near the door) or you will end up having the same areas growing into clutter piles, again.  Organize the remainder into nice containers so you can feel relaxed and enjoy the beauty of your environment.

    The most challenging part is to maintain it on a daily basis.  Set schedules for daily, weekly and monthly cleaning and organizing tasks.  Sarah Felton of “Messies Anonymous” recommends following the 30 second rule – if it will take less than 30 seconds to put away right now, do it immediately!  (This includes putting away shoes, mail, etc.)  Pay attention to your “hot spots” which are the places clutter tends to accumulate for you.  Clean these areas each day so they don’t become a problem.  Once everything has been assigned a home, make sure you put things back as soon as you are done with them.  If you can keep up on it a little at a time, (15 minutes a day) you won’t feel overwhelmed with a mountain of clutter, again.

    If you are interested in further reading, check out these sites:  http://www.care2.com/greenliving/how-clutter-affects-you.html and http://stress.about.com/od/lowstresslifestyle/a/clutter_3.htm

    Next month, we will look at clearing out the clutter in your mind and electronic devices.

    Kolleen Meyer-Krikac, owner of Balanced Life and Wilshire Business Suites, located in Lincoln, NE is a certified life coach and professional counselor in private practice.  She facilitates workshops, is a public speaker and enjoys helping people to “Dream, Plan, Achieve” the life they have always wanted.  You can reach Kolleen through her website, Balanced Life (www.balanced-life.us), Linked In, Facebook or by calling her at (402)499-5547.

  • Tue, April 29, 2014 9:14 PM | Deleted user
         When we were children, May Day conjured up images of May baskets full of candy and popcorn left on doorsteps by friends who either rang the doorbell or knocked on the door and ran, expecting us to chase and try to catch them.  As adults, May Day may conjure up different images, such as a ship in trouble with the captain using the radio to seek help before the ship sinks.  When you think of May Day, what images come to mind for you?  Are you excited about the delicious treats coming your way?  Or are you feeling overwhelmed as if your ship is about to sink and you are crying out for help? 
         As we quickly approach the month of May, I am looking at the calendar and am realizing how busy we will be all month.  Raising a teenager in the month of May can feel overwhelming when you see multiple activities each day and no open days to just relax.  So how do you get through the month without calling the Coast Guard?  I have a few ideas to help you, not only survive, but to look forward to some treats.
         First, don't focus on the whole calendar at once.  Take it "one day at a time" and focus on what is most important each day.  Are there things that you can let go of, things you have been telling yourself you "should" do but really aren't that important?  When you release yourself of this burden of guilt and shame, you are free to enjoy whatever is most important that day.  Think of this as dumping the excess baggage overboard to lighten your load and to keep you from sinking.
         Next, make sure you are getting enough sleep.  We tend to think we can get by on very little sleep, but we only do ourselves, our families and our work a disservice when we don't get adequate sleep.  When we run ourselves down, it's like a ship without an engine that relies on the wind (or lack thereof) to blow it to where it wants to be.  Do you really want to be at the mercy of something that is so unpredictable?  Or do you want to be the captain of your ship and take control of it so you can go where you want to go?  Part of being the captain is taking care of the vessel, which includes making sure the engine is oiled and running smoothly so it doesn't break down.
         Finally, take time to have fun and replenish yourself!  Each day, schedule some time for yourself, even if it is only 20-30 minutes.  Do something that is just for you and doesn't require that you take care of others or accomplish tasks on your "to do" list.  You may schedule one or more of the following "treats":  a walk, lunch with a friend, reading, gardening or enjoying the outdoors, watching a favorite movie, playing with your pets, kids or grandkids, dancing, yoga, a bubble bath or hot shower, engaging in a hobby or any other ideas you may have.  The possibilities are endless!  Choose something that makes you smile when you think about doing it, then put it into action.  Even the captain of the ship lets his first mate steer so he or she can get a break to replenish before taking the wheel, again.  Without taking time to refresh, the captain may not be able to navigate the waters smoothly and effortlessly.
         May Day doesn't have to be a cry for help but can be a time to look forward to filling your May basket with some treats.  Take it one day a time, get plenty of sleep and take some time each day to replenish yourself by relaxing and having some fun.  Dump the excess baggage, take control and take care of your ship so you can navigate your life easily and effortlessly.

    Kolleen Meyer-Krikac, owner of Balanced Life and Wilshire Business Suites, located in Lincoln, NE is a certified life coach and professional counselor in private practice.  She facilitates workshops, is a public speaker and enjoys helping people to “Dream, Plan, Achieve” the life they have always wanted.  You can reach Kolleen through her website, Balanced Life (www.balanced-life.us), Linked In, Facebook or by calling her at (402)499-5547.


  • Wed, August 29, 2012 4:48 PM | Deleted user

    Have you experienced organizations that develop a Vision Statement, a Mission Statement, and a Purpose Statement and spend enormous amounts of money to send the message throughout the organization, but the teams and individuals within that organization never commit to them? 

    On the flip side, have you experienced the joy and excitement of a working within a team that gets it, and moves together as if one?

    The obvious next question is:  On which team would you rather be a member, and how do you get there?

    Many years ago, I was working as a senior analyst within the Information Technology department.  We were moving business from one system to another, and the project required a strong understanding of the product, as well as knowledge of how both systems worked, so we could translate from one to the other.  We had a team of five people in this project, and we were given three months to accomplish the goal.  We were asked to go off site for three months, away from our families, and focus on the task at hand.

    We quickly identified the skills and knowledge held by each person on the team, understood what weneeded to do and in what order, and we walked together by separating to accomplish our individual tasks and coming back together multiple times a day to share information, talk through the challenges, make decisions and quickly move forward.

    If an individual on the team did not get their individual tasks accomplished, we either challenged them to stretch more or we jumped in to help.  We played while we worked, and we worked while we played.  We accomplished our goal, and we did it well.

    I have also worked with teams who did not coalesce.  Many members of the team were looking out for their own career, did not communicate, and often pointed fingers to shift scrutiny from them to another.

    What was the difference between those teams?  Common Purpose.

    What is common purpose?  I think it is fairly simple.  It is when the leader takes an active role in the group that they lead.  They create the bond that holds the team together.  It isn’t about teams that work in an us vs. them culture (often hierarchical in nature, with managers making decisions and handing them down for implementation).  It is about creating a we culture that is inspired, vibrant, courageous and hard to beat.

    This culture says very clearly that:

    1. Every individual on the team, including the leader, stands side by side with the others
    2. There has been clear, open and candid conversation with everyone present so that every possible idea, concern, and disagreement is on the table
    3. The entire team knows the goal and what needs to be done, and
    4. They know the values and intentions of the organization.

    The team is then able to put aside all doubt and any perceived limitations, unleash their imaginations and creativity, and agree as a cohesive group to be successful, with a willingness to take risks that often create huge shifts in thought and what they are able to accomplish.

    When an organization remembers that every individual within an organization has the ability to be a leader, and utilizes all the strengths and talents available, it creates a “third mind” that begins to gel and give rise to solutions that do not exist in any one individual’s mind.  Everyone, including the leader of the team, is working toward a common purpose.  The team cannot help but succeed. 

    What steps are you willing to take to create the common purpose that will propel your team forward, making them nearly unbeatable?

    You may find this post on the Lead Change Group website, along with a variety of other leadership posts. 

  • Tue, May 29, 2012 9:59 AM | Deleted user

    I’m reading an older book by Neale Donald Walsch, published in 2002, entitled “The New Revelations”.  I have enjoyed most of his books, and occasionally go back to read them again.  I always find something new to get out of them, based upon where I am in my own transformational learning at the time.  This time I picked up on his chapters on change, and the concept that “change is the nature of life”.   In it, he is talking about the need for change, for moving on, in our societies, in our religions, and in our belief systems.  He expounds on “enlarging” our knowledge and accepting “more” into our lives rather than relying on ancient learning and interpretation.

    So, here is the interesting part.  There are basically three types of change, as part of the nature of life:

    • The first is where dynamic systems fall apart. They wear down, and eventually become too random and disordered to utilize energy effectively.  This happens to our bodies, our material possessions (cars, houses, appliances), our religions, our organizations, our governments, and our cultures.
    • The blessing is that as humans, there is another force of nature.  Physicists call it negentropy, the negative or reverse of entropy (#1).  The technical explanation is that it is the energy expended to slow down the entropy.  In terms that I understand, it is the natural inclination some of us have to continue the transformation of who we are.  Even though our bodies are wearing down, our minds can be expanding our conscious and unconscious thought processes.  Not only do we humans deteriorate physically, but we also can choose to enjoy the processes that lead to more choice, better concentration and power over our thoughts and ideas.  It is only by understanding this process, and utilizing it in every situation do we create transformational learning.

    “We will never be able to solve our problems, at the same order of complexity we used to create them.”  ~ Albert Einstein

    • The last force of nature is entitled dynamic equilibrium.  This is where the positive and negative forces are in stasis.  The system is at equilibrium because the equation equals no net change.  It isn’t because there is not activity.  Quite the contrary.  Dynamic equilibrium is about competing energy usage, sometimes allowing change to occur for a brief period, but ultimately falling back into “the way we’ve always done it”.   

    As leaders, we are constantly looking for something that will create significant change for our organizations, moving us to more complexity, a higher capacity, and more success.  In addition, we are backing that up with worry that we could be in danger of losing our lead in the competitive race, becoming complacent and routine, and thereby losing focus.   How many of you have been involved in a significant push to change the organizational culture, or even your own personal way of life, only to make the change for a brief time, and then slide right back to where you started (or even beyond)?  Most of us could raise our hands here.

    Most of us want to be part of a dynamic organization that does not disintegrate or even stay exactly the same.  It is exciting to be moving forward, to be a learning organization, and be energized by creativity, freedom and growth.  In order to evolve in this direction, we must be willing to embrace change;change that is significant and transformational.  The openness to change must occur at all levels of the organization from top leadership on down in order to be completely successful. 

    How much are you willing to embrace and create change in your life?

    Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  Her passion is success grounded in embracing change, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative TransitionsTwitterLinkedIn and Facebook, or you can reach her at (402) 304-1902.   

  • Sun, April 29, 2012 3:14 PM | Deleted user

    I’ve been concentrating on truth-telling over the last couple of days while preparing a workshop on Creating Change with Ease and Grace.  The lesson is wrapped around the concept of being truthful about the fears we have that stop us from taking transformational steps in creating the change we want to see in our lives.  There is a structure of cost and rewards to being a truth-teller, and there is an impact that the truth has on you and those around you.  It could be a heavy topic, and as always it generates a great deal of conversation when you open it up for discussion. 

    What came up for me as I worked on the lesson, and the exercises for my clients, was the need to always tell myself the truth about any situation.  I commonly say “I don’t have time to (you name it).  I’m busy with taking care of my family, networking, volunteering, and my coaching business.“   Yes, all of that is true, but the real truth is that I am just not doing (you name it).  If I honestly look at my day, I could have found the time, but I rapidly filled my day with activities that may or may not fulfill my values or meet my needs.

    There are a couple schools of thought about what truth is.  Dr. Maria Nemeth, Academy for Coaching Excellence, teaches that truth is the facts of what has occurred in physical reality.  Thomas Leonard, founder of Coach U, on the other hand teaches that truth is sometimes deeper and more profound than the facts that have been presented as truth, and is what is so for you.   This may be the difference between two philosophies – the ontological approach vs. the psychological approach.  Regardless, both statements hold some merit of accuracy.

    The discovery of truth is at times a process.  It changes over time as you get more in tune with who you are, and make discoveries about your world and how it works.  It’s important to hold your truth lightly, and not let it become a rule that will not allow you to explore a myriad of possibilities with curiosity and delight.  In addition, truth is not something to hold out for others to adhere to; they are living their own truth and are on their own path.   As you begin to explore these concepts, it may strike you that your truth, and the truth of someone else, may or may not be the real truth. 

    The more you work to uncover your truth, you will discover that there aren’t that many people interested in the truth.  When you are required to work with people who are not, you must be prepared for the consequences of being direct and you must take care when sharing your thoughts.  Truth-telling must be intentional and well thought out.  It requires you to be sensitive, and choose the time for truth carefully.  It does no good to share truth when it will not be received because the person you are sharing with is not ready to hear it. 

    Truth-telling is one of the most important lessons you can learn, or teach, for that matter.  It makes the biggest difference in your life, and if you are lucky enough to have been given children to raise, it is one of the most valuable things you can teach them, just by doing. 

    Still your mind, and look around you and inside you.  There you will find your truth, the most important truth of all.  You will not find it in a book or classroom.  You will find thoughts and interpretations there which you must sift through in order to find what holds meaning for you.  Believe in the truth you can perceive with your five senses – the truth of physical reality – and what you feel in your heart.  Once you have recognized the truth, your mind and body will rapidly adjust.

    Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative TransitionsTwitterLinkedIn and Facebook.    

  • Mon, March 26, 2012 4:39 PM | Deleted user

    In 1983, Ashley Montagu and Floyd Matson stated in their book, The Human Connection, that love is the highest form of communication. They say:

    “Human communication, ‘as the saying goes, is a clash of symbols’ it covers a multitude of signs. But it is more than media and messages, information and persuasion; it also meets a deeper need and serves a higher purpose. Whether clear or garbled, tumultuous or silent, deliberate or fatally inadvertent, communication is the ground of meeting and the foundation of community. It is, in short, the essential human connection.”

    In many instances, we see distancing, destruction, intimidation, disappointment, degradation, and devaluing not only in our corporate cultures, but in our personal lives as well. 

    As a leader you may want to think about the following instead:

    • Tell your colleagues on a regular basis that you care about them. Through your conversation, your actions and your body language. You can’t assume that they know it. Our society has become much too cynical to spend time discovering someone’s authentic self. A character in Philip Roth’s book, The Human Stain, said “By a certain age, one’s mistrust is so exquisitely refined that one is unwilling to believe anybody.” And, if they are embarrassed by it, do it anyway.
    • Tell your colleagues when they have done good work, and reassure and encourage them when they fail. When you employee does something for you, affirm and appreciate them. Don’t slide into the habit of taking them for granted.
    • Let your associates know when you need their help. It makes them stronger to know they have the power to assist you. Even though they care about you, admire and respect you, they still can’t read your mind.
    • Celebrate. Often without any other reason than you care about your coworkers and you enjoy them. Verbalize your happiness.
    • Respond to your colleagues as if they matter. Make them feel special and valued. It will make up for the times they feel invisible.
    • Validate your collaborator’s feelings and listen to what they have to say. Their experience of something is important to them, and it is their truth. If you truly see them and hear them as they are in the moment, it is a continued affirmation of their being, as you collaborate on change.
    • Respect the silence. Let it do the heavy lifting. Alternatives for growth are most often realized in moments of quiet.
    • Let others know you value your colleagues. Public affirmation makes them feel special and proud, especially when you say it TO them, rather than about them.

    This is the last of the series of Caring Communication. I welcome comments whether positive or negative. It is only when we enter into dialogue that we learn.

    Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative TransitionsTwitterLinkedIn and Facebook.   Georgia may also be reached at (402) 304-1902 if you wish to schedule a 30 minute complementary consultation.

    Related Posts: Life Lessons for Leaders – Caring CommunicationLife Lessons for Leaders – How Do You Say I Care?Life Lessons for Leaders – Communication: The Art of Dialogue , Life Lessons for Leaders – Communication: Use Your Words, Don’t Let Them Use You

  • Tue, February 28, 2012 8:04 PM | Deleted user

    OR: IS IT POSSIBLE TO GROW BEYOND ADOLESCENCE?

    In my years in leadership positions, and now as I’m coaching other leaders, one of the statements I hear most often is “Change is hard!”  And, unfortunately, as hard as we try, whether from a personal or an organizational perspective, we might successfully move toward change for a period of time, but we invariably slide back to that with which we are familiar.  William Perry, Harvard professor, often said as he counseled others, “What does this person really want – and what will they do to keep from getting it?”  This statement struck me hard.  It made me think about the many times I vowed to change a behavior, whether personal or professional, but somehow I moved back to square one over time.  Some situation or some thought process pulled me away from the awareness of what I was aiming for, or completely overwhelmed it.

    The beauty of it is that it is possible to grow beyond adolescence!    We don’t have to be defined by a stagnated mental development because we can choose to change.  Even better, we can create change, not just react to it.  We don’t have to “fix” ourselves, because at the very heart of things we are perfect just the way we are!  There is nothing to break downreduce or overcome.  What we are aiming for is transformational learning; our own, and in supporting others as they go about their own learning.

    Why does this matter?  Because as we assume leadership roles in organizations, volunteer positions, and at home, we are confronted with these realities:

    • A good share of leading involves working with others to effect significant change.
    • It is very hard to manifest change within a group without changes taking place in individual behaviors and group dynamics.
    • It is almost impossible to nourish and maintain those behavioral changes without changing the causal meanings that create the behavior.
    • And, we have an extremely difficult time leading others in transformational learning if we aren’t willing to consider the possibility that we also need to change.

    Most people would agree, I believe, that despite the enormous amount of money being spent in our corporate environments today on change management, very little significant change actually takes place.  It may be because they don’t go deep enough to look at why each individual may be resisting the very change they are trying to manage!

    Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative TransitionsTwitterLinkedIn and Facebook.   Georgia may also be reached at (402) 304-1902 if you wish to schedule a 30 minute complementary consultation. 

  • Mon, February 06, 2012 5:13 PM | Deleted user

    The Free Online Dictionary states that empathy is “the power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person’s feelings”.

    In Karen Armstrong’s book, the Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, she suggests that in order to be empathetic we must understand suffering.    She leads us through a series of religious and mythological stories about suffering, grief, and sharing so that we might see how to transform primitive passions into a force for compassion.   Karen states that imagination is crucial to the compassionate life, so that we might recognize our pain and aspirations and use it to open our minds to others.  That recognition can become an education in compassion.

    How many of you know the story of Jason and the Golden Fleece?  When Jason casts his wife, Medea, aside she kills not only Jason and his new wife, but their children as well.  As she applied reason to her fury, she concluded she could not exact her revenge on Jason without also murdering their children.  What this tragedy points out is that if reason is not toned down by compassion and empathy, our reasoning process can lead us into a moral void.

    Character-based leadership requires us to apply both sides of the reason coin.  Leaders must be able to escape from their self-preoccupation and appreciate the plight of another person, as well as apply reason to the decisions they are called on to make every day.

    Some leaders, in my experience, turn a blind eye to other people’s suffering.  We see many examples of this type of behavior in our culture, our politics and our government.

    • Banks loaning money to people who cannot afford to pay it back, and then turning callously away when they foreclose on a home.
    • Doctors who harden their hearts so that they feel no grief when a patient dies.
    • Managers who coldly terminate an inefficient employee, or impersonally lay off a loyal employee so they might hire another to do the same job for less money.
    • Politicians who vote for legislation that ignores what is in the best-interest of the nation as a whole so that they might maintain their party line.
    • Government that creates dependence rather than independence; does not manage itself well; and, takes away from the masses to give to the few.

    Learning empathy is no easy task, and not easily balanced.  It requires a leader to take the time to think about another’s pain or unhappiness, and all the private distress they may be feeling that the leader will never know about.  It requires them to make decisions that take into account the distress the decisions can cause, ameliorate suffering wherever possible, and do what is appropriate for the greater good.

    Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative Transitions, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, or call her at (402) 304-1902.   

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